Pre-Arizona Interview: David Shaw

Stanford won their first two games with relative ease, but will face a test this Saturday. The Cardinal will visit Arizona to take on a Wildcat team coming off a loss to Oklahoma State, but with plenty of offensive playmakers. After practice on Thursday, Stanford head coach David Shaw met with the media to discuss the game, preparation for Juron Criner, and an injury to a key defensive reserve.

Any injuries, health wise you okay? Looked like Wayne Lyons

David Shaw: Wayne Lyons is going to be out for the game, might be out for a couple of weeks. He has a foot injury, so it'll be a few weeks at least.

What happened?

DS: That's a good question. I never actually saw the injury. He finished the game fine and had a little bit of pain, was okay, didn't seem like that big of a deal. Then the pain got a little bit worse, he got it checked out, and they're still investigating it. He's going to be out.

It happened in the Duke game then?

DS: It might have happened before the game, to be honest. I'm not exactly sure. It started bothering him and then the game might have made it worse because I'll tell you what, you watch the film, he was still explosive and running fast. He didn't think it was that big of a deal, but the doctors are going to keep him out for a couple of weeks.

Is it possibly a break?

DS: It might be. We'll see how long, right now they're saying a few weeks, so we'll see.

At the beginning of the year did you say okay, we're going to be allowing 28.5 yards per game in rushing? Can you talk about your run defense, it's been pretty impressive…

DS: I think it's been pretty good. It all starts up front. Terrence Stephens and those guys, they don't always get the tackles, but they eat up blockers, make guys double team them. Our linebackers make a lot of tackles. The front seven has been playing very well.

Did you think it was going to be this good?

DS: You never know. We have high expectations, of course, because we have some pretty good players.

Other than Lyons' injury, how has practice been the last few days, tempo wise…?

DS: Yesterday was great, today was good. We need to practice with a little more speed than we did today. We let the players know that today and it got better at the end.

Back to the Duke game, was giving Cameron Fleming and I think David Yankey a series off the plan from the beginning?

DS: Yes. Absolutely. We'll probably do something similar this week, just with the heat and making sure our guys stay fresh, We have two guys that are starters, we consider Tyler Mabry a starter, the battle was very close all the way until the end. Kevin Danser was a starter the entire spring ball and then the entire training camp until he had his dehydration issue. We think we have seven starters on the offensive line, so it only makes sense for us. I don't know what kickoff temperature is going to be, but it's supposed to be a high of 99 I believe for Saturday, We'll make sure we take care of the big guys.

Do you plan ahead on when you're going to rotate, especially for the linemen, or is it all based on time, score, field position?

DS: We plan ahead. We let the guys know, here's what's going to be, here's when it's going to happen, so they're never surprised by it. They go into it knowing this is for them, this is in their best interest.

What are you looking to improve upon this week?

DS: As a team we need to play a 60-minute game. We started better last week than the week before but we didn't play a complete first half.

Is it just kind of a coincidence that it's been a slow start the past couple of weeks and then you've kicked it into gear later in the game?

DS: It better be. We're going to play against a good team in their home stadium. We need to come out and play better at the very beginning.

Can you talk about the venue down there and what that atmosphere is like in Tuscon?

DS: It's loud, there's a lot of energy in the stadium. Their student section is noticeable. They are loud, they are into it. It's a tough place to play.

What do you think about the general timing of your offense so far?

DS: In general it's been good. We allowed the quarterback to be hit too many times last week, which those things have been addressed, but as far as the rhythm of what we're doing, last week was good, we just didn't make enough plays, but we seem to be in pretty good rhythm.

Are you going to send anybody early to do some recruiting this week?

DS: Yeah. We've got two guys flying out tonight. I'll go to a high school game tomorrow night as well along with a few other coaches a couple different places.

Do you have a defensive package with Juron Criner and without Criner, or do you not do that?

DS: We don't want to be that specific, but if he plays, we will know where he is every single play. He is that much of a difference maker. If the doctors say he is ready to play, we're going to expect him to be full speed.

What's your gut feeling on if he'll play or not?

DS: I have no idea.

Without giving up any information, what happened with Arizona against Oklahoma State?

DS: Oklahoma State is a very good football team with a lot of explosive athletes and probably the best receiver in the nation again this year. Arizona had a chance to make some plays on both sides of the ball and against a team like that if you miss opportunities you're going to be in a hole. But Arizona came back fast and made it a game in the second half, where they really should have been out of it. That's a big lesson to our guys. These guys, they have playmakers on both sides of the ball, so you have to play a full 60-minute game.

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